When you hear the word "Football", what comes to mind? Perhaps it's the crowds of cheering fans, perhaps it's the concession stand or perhaps it's actually the game. :) For me, I didn't grow up with high school football (our school's sport of choice was basketball) and so perhaps that is why most of this past time was clouded in mystery for me. I knew the basics: touchdowns, interceptions, fumbles, etc. But I was pretty clueless when it came to quarterback sneaks and the blitz ... actually I still am. (Post confession: I had to ask Aaron about that last one!) It wasn't until I started dating Brett that I got even remotely interested in watching any games. Isn't that the way we all learn, ladies? I remember going to a few games at UNC, but I remember more often watching NFL games on TV, listening to Brett's commentary about the game ... while I crafted. I'm sure I was picking up some of the ins and outs of the game by osmosis. :) But now that I have a young boy in my house who loves football ... I have had to step up my game and actively pay attention a bit. It's rather amazing to me how much I have learned about the game just since the start of this season! I'm not coach-material by any means, but I can follow the game.
Last night we had an opportunity to see our next-door buddy and his team play at the Super Bowl ... the 5th Grader Super Bowl, that is. The Chargers went head-to-head with the Raiders for the 2010 Championship at Stocker Stadium! This was quite an exciting experience for our family ... it's not often that we all go to a sports event together and it's not often that we know one of the players. In light of this, Brett and I had little to no expectations of the evening and intended to stay as long as our family could manage. In other words, we planned to leave before the wheels came off the wagon! :) We weren't surprised that each kiddo had a different part of the game they were fascinated in ... some part of the football-experience that made the night a success! We were surprised at how well our kiddos enjoyed the game and how long they lasted ... we actually made it until the end.
As you can imagine each kid had their own thing that kept them interested or involved in the action. Without each dynamic part of the game, we probably wouldn't have made it past half-time!
Aaron was pretty pumped to be at the game and seeing the live action. He played football this past Spring in a junior league and while he doesn't necessarily want to play next year, he did come away with a better appreciation for the plays and the team-work involved. I was pretty impressed with how attentive my little jock was to the plays of the game, even being able to call a few plays accurately. He sat focused on each down of the game and jumped and cheered along with the crowd. He had a few questions (which he wisely addressed to someone else) about flags or different calls the refs made, but for the most part was able to follow the game to it's exciting ending. Our Chargers won, by the way, 19-14!
Norah was also excited to be at the game, but for slightly different reasons. She also has picked up some of the rules of the game as a result of Aaron's games and NFL on Sunday afternoons. Due to her studious nature she can follow along rather well. But her true focus of the evening was the crowd. She moved from lap to lap watching some of the plays of the game, but mainly watching the people around her. She saw a few people that she thought maybe she knew and the proceeded to, quick, turn around and hide ... just in case. Apparently she likes to see people, but doesn't necessarily want to be seen. :) Norah being Norah meant that by the end of the game, she was a nervous wreck about whether or not the Chargers were going to be able to pull ahead and win. She had her coat, hands and stomach tied in a knot. When the clock ticked down to 0:00 ... I thought that she might actually cry she was so relieved and happy! She really gets emotionally involved in everything: movies, books, sports events and TV commercials. (I'm pretty certain she gets that from me!)
Ashely was there for one thing and one thing only: the cheerleaders! Our neighbor girl was one of the cheerleaders so that made it extra special. Ashley spent most of her time looking for her friend, studying the cheers, practicing the moves (as much as you can in the bleachers) and lamenting that there was no mascot. Ashley also travelled from lap to lap, but mainly to get a better view of the cheerleaders. A definite highlight to the night was the half-time performance ... cheers and a music routine! Boo-Yeah! She had already decided to be a cheerleader for Halloween ... now she has the moves to go with her outfit!
Lydia was excited about the game for completely different reasons. She enjoyed stomping her feet on the metal bleachers (very noisy), yelling when everyone else was cheering (also very noisy), screaming when she wanted to sit on my lap and it was already occupied by another sister (a different kind of noisy), and pointing out all the trash in the bleachers (with a noisy yell, as well). It was the perfect environment for our little noise-maker! When she started getting a little twitchy, Brett took her down to the track to run off some energy. Thank goodness for some room to roam happily. A few other highlights for Lydia would be the little puppy dog in front of us and the package of mints from my purse. She is easily amused, luckily. :)
Our entire family loved seeing the teammates and the families celebrate their win ... there were even some fireworks! I know that Brett and I had fun being out with the kids and doing something a little different and after this positive experience, I think we will be more inclined to do it again. We managed to get home with all four wheels on the wagon ... and in our book that is a successful outing! I guess we'll be checking the calendar for other upcoming games. :)